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April 25, 2013

Successful Contact Center Knowledge Management Turns Information into Actionable Insights

James Giese UWEBC Communications Director

Patel“Knowledge Management (KM) in the customer center context is the systematic management of vital knowledge and its associated processes of creating, gathering, organizing, diffusion, and use,” stated Nina Patel, Director, Oracle, during the UWEBC’s Customer Service Peer Group Meeting on April 16.

Despite large investments in technologies related to customer service and contact centers, many organizations are not finding significant improvements in contact center metrics. For example, a recent survey of technology service companies indicated that despite investments in CRM systems and telephony, companies found a 24% net decrease in first-call resolutions. Most contact center agents spend the bulk of their time in research, discovery, and communication of their search results to the customer rather than resolving an issue. Such statistics highlight the need for improved enterprise-wide knowledge management platforms for the customer contact center.

“Knowledge management requires turning individual contact center agent knowledge into corporate knowledge that can be widely shared throughout an organization and applied,” Patel said.

KM systems have the ability to incorporate customer information and recommendations to improve the content, usability, and overall quality of the contact center knowledge base. The systems can also use natural language search to find contextual content in addition to solutions and track progress in support of business objectives.

“Knowledge is information and context,” said Patel, “An example of information is the statement that it is going to rain today versus an example of knowledge: there is a 60% chance of rain at 3:00 pm when I tee off at the golf course today.”

KM systems enable organizational knowledge transfer to contact center agents reducing resolution time. With targeted knowledge across multiple channels, the systems allow contact center agents to serve customers without redundant/repeated requests.

“The best content is useless if it can’t be found when needed,” said Patel. Natural language search adds contextual content in addition to solutions and KM platforms should have the ability to index and search multiple data repositories regardless of format.

Knowledge management increases the efficiency of service organizations to provide greater service and opportunity for customers, providers, and vendors. But to do so, their implementation should be incorporated into an overall customer response strategy.

Knowledge base content must be updated, usable, and contain the “right” number of solutions so as to not overwhelm the user. Authors should include contact center agents, and authoring workflows must be flexible so that new content can be added quickly.

“Before starting to create content,” said Patel, “Determine usage roles, content sources, content standards, and information architecture and localization requirements.”

The key to building loyalty is meeting customer needs on a timely and cost effective basis, according to Patel. Knowledge management systems can transform service agent information into actionable insights to provide successful and timely call resolutions.

Member companies can access Nina Patel's Mediasite recording and other meeting materials>>


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